Frederic Vasseur was delighted to see the first points of the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team partnership come so soon in the season, with Marcus Ericsson securing his first points for fifty races by finishing ninth in the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday.
Ericsson ran as high as sixth as he made it through the race with only one trip to the pit lane on lap twenty-three, when he switched from the Soft to the Medium compound, which was enough for him to get to the chequered flag inside the top ten for the first time since the 2015 Italian Grand Prix.
Team-mate Charles Leclerc was less fortunate with his strategy after an early flat-spot necessitated an early visit to the pit lane, which meant a two-stop strategy was always then on the cards. Vasseur was pleased with the Monegasque drivers performance however, as he brought the car home in fourteenth, which became twelfth when both Sergio Perez and Brendon Hartley were handed time penalties.
“It was a very good first step for us and a reward for the hard work during the winter by the whole team, both at the race track and at the factory at home,” said Vasseur, the team principal of the Hinwil-based team. “Today we made an important recovery from qualifying and both drivers and the team did a good job.
“Congratulations to Marcus for the strong race. He put in a huge effort over the winter to be able to show everyone that he is able to deliver. It is a great accomplishment for him. Charles also did a good job and put in a consistently good performance throughout the race. Unfortunately, he lost a lot of time at the beginning of the race after having issues with a vibration on the front wheel, requiring an early pit stop.”
Vasseur knows it is important for the team to keep their feet on the ground as there is plenty of work still to be done to be truly a part of the midfield battle, but for now they sit eighth in the Constructors’ Championship, ahead of both the Sahara Force India F1 Team and Williams Martini Racing.
“All in all, it was a good team effort and we are pleased with the outcome of this weekend, but we remain completely focused and will continue to work hard and push in this direction,” said Vasseur.